Joe Biden’s Upcoming Visit

Death is never easy.  It doesn’t come at a convenient time and there is very little one can do in preparation for it. But when the natural order of things are reversed and a parent is burying a child, that takes on a whole new level of tragedy.

As such Joe Biden wrote a book on his experience of dealing with the death of his son Beau who passed away from cancer 2 ½ years ago.  And he’s coming to Portland to discuss this. For me personally – while thankfully I’ve never had to deal with this – death has always been so scary.  I think it’s going to be a very important talk and something everyone should attend if possible.

He’ll be at the Merrill Auditorium on January 31st as part of his countrywide tour to discuss the book, Promise Me, Dad.

Book Reading Going Mobile

booksWith book-purchasing becoming less popular due to the electronic buying of books, it sort of makes sense that our very own Street Books is doing so well. Just outside a church in Southeast Portland, this non-profit that seeks to – in some small way – bring pleasure to the homeless, seems to be quite the place to pick up some new finds according to Jeremy and Suzy who stumbled upon it just last week on their Friday afternoon date.

“What was cool about it was that we had no idea where it would be as it stops each time at different places,” Suzy explained.  “And there was such a huge diversity of books,” chimed in Jeremy who found a memoir of someone whose name escapes me.  He now really wants to support the cause.

It is true that Portlanders are known for their reading obsession.  They just love to read; it’s almost as if they were born for it.  And now this little mobile store is filling that need, delivering tons of books to those who are living on the street.  Just because they don’t have homes does not mean they don’t want to be reading!

Right now it’s only working during the summer and each year the organization has been delivering books to the homeless on their bikes.   And it’s growing (unfortunately, due to the fact that the number of homeless is expanding) and now has 6 paid librarians.

I think I want to start supporting this cause too.



Celebration of Korean Food

korean foodKorean food was recently celebrated in Oregon. Hosted by the Korean American Coalition of Oregon in Northwest Portland, three days ago 11 chefs assembled for the Mukja (which means ‘Let’s Eat’) food festival.

Chefs include: Brandon Kirksey of Girin (offering classical Korean cuisine), Rick Gencarelli of Lardo (a restaurant whose humble beginnings date back to a food cart in SE Portland), John Gorham of Toro Bravo (a Spanish-inspired tapas restaurant in NE Portland), Kyo Koo of Superhawk, Johanna Ware of Smallwares (self-described as an “inauthentic” Korean restaurant), PJ Yang of Bamboo Sushi (the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant), Bo Kwon of Koi Fusion (a funky fusion of Korean BBQ and fresh Mexican flavors) and more.

Tickets retailed at $50 per person or $75 for VIP.

Portland Festival Symphony

symphonyFor the 35th consecutive year, the Portland Festival Symphony was in full swing. Just last week we took the family to Peninsula Park for the festival and it was great.

Daniel and I particularly loved the concerts (thank you to Neil Kelly Company) as well as when the kids tried out different instruments.

The aim of the festival is for people exactly like us who want to introduce their kids to the “mind-expanding world of music while having fun in a natural park setting.”

And, I believe that’s exactly what it achieved.


Portland’s Charitable Heart

heart-63974_640Portland is such a great place to live and raise kids for so very many reasons. And one of them is Christmas and the city’s charitable spirit.

Portland – for the last four decades nearly – has been giving kids whose parents cannot afford it a bike for Christmas. And this year, over 150 kids will be the lucky recipients. What began as an early morning run in celebration of the holiday has now become a wonderful philanthropic event.

Cyclists started joining in to raise money for the bikes that were given to a local organization which made sure children got their gifts on Christmas morning, along with all the other kids getting lots of fun things.

It’s been quite a family event too, this charity. Founded by Dennis Ferguson, son Bart and cousin Ted designed a T-shirt which sold at $25 a piece. The money made from that – along with other donations – paid for the bikes.

I’m so glad my children are privileged. I am also happy we live in a place that recognizes those less privileged than them.